Science, Fiction, Life

Getting Back on the Horse

The Secret to Writing, courtesy of author and font of writerly wisdom and creative swearing, Chuck Wendig.

The Secret to Writing, courtesy of author and font of writerly wisdom and creative cursing, Chuck Wendig.

So, you know my grand plan for being a productive writer? That kinda fizzled. I haven’t really done any writing in months, though it keeps lurking in the back of my mind as something that I should be doing. After all, everyone needs a constant source of self-imposed guilt, right? Instead this summer, I did some travelling, played some video games, and read some books. All told, not a bad way to spend a summer. But I have finally finished all of the games that I have for my Xbox One, and rather than giving into the temptation of buying another, I am going to try once again to write regularly.

My spreadsheet for tracking how good (or bad) I am at following through on my goals of writing and exercising will be returning too, but somewhat simplified. Before, I was tracking individual hours of writing and gaming and exercise and blogging, and I had complex equations for how many hours of gaming I earned/lost. In version 2.0, I’ve simplified it down to days instead of hours, and a simple “Yes” or “No” for whether I did writing or exercise. If I write or exercise, I earn one-fifth of a “free day”. “Free days” are days when I don’t do any writing or exercising, and are quantized (in other words, I can’t spend 0.5 a free day). With this system, I can take one day off per week, and every five weeks I can take two days off of writing and exercising.

What will I be writing? I’ll try to post here more often, though I think I am going to try to post fewer reviews (saving those for goodreads) and use this blog to report on my writing progress, and to post occasional essays on topics of interest. We’ll see. Outside of the blog, I have an amorphous idea for a novel that I think I need to get out of my head and onto paper, if for no other reason than to allow my writing brain to move on to other ideas. I am very very guilty of getting so wrapped up in the idea of writing that I don’t actually do the one thing that defines a writer: WRITE.  I need to constantly remind myself that it’s not going to be as perfect on the page as it seems in my head, but once it is on the page it will exist and I can make it better.

Here’s hoping I can really make writing a habit this time. Wish me luck!


  1. Anna Lynn


    I’m glad to see I’m not the only one with, as you put it, a lurking, constant source of self-imposed guilt. If I wasn’t dead sure I hadn’t been stalked lately (I’m pretty sure anyway), I would say you were writing about me and not yourself. Not only is it nice to know the struggle is real, but to know I’m not the only one afflicted.

    I saw your post on Reddit, and as a fellow writer I had to check you out. I haven’t read your book, but it seems interesting, and I plan to start looking for it. Great site, wish I had more time to read it but I’m tying up my lunch break. Hopefully you’ll message back so I can remember the name of this website.



    • Ryan

      Well, don’t start looking for my book yet: I’ve just barely started writing it!

      But yeah, The Struggle is Real, and I think it’s just about universal with writers, especially when just starting out.

  2. Guy Riessen

    Dude, your writing is good, as evidenced across multiple blog posts. Don’t worry about whether it’s “good enough,” it is! So grab some coffee, sit down…now shut up and start putting fingers to keys!

    (By the way, I totally understand what you’re saying–in particular about being caught up in the idea of writing, but then not writing. So I decided starting January 1, I’m going to write no less than 150,000 words by June 30. 300,000 by the end of 2016. Care to join me?)

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